Breaking News: Burke Hedges Denied! Case Won’t be Presented in Entirety
SALT LAKE CITY — In a hearing Monday, November 20th, a judge in the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County ruled Burke Hedges and legal team will not be allowed to present their entire case in front of a jury at Monday’s trial. The case, which is set to go to jury trial Monday November 27th, is a last ditch effort for Hedges to prove his allegation that LifeVantage (LFVN) is guilty of wrongful termination and defamation. This ruling is a devastating blow for the Hedges camp.
LFVN, a $200 million dollar MLM giant whose website claims they sell a supplement “with the potential to change the world”, has undergone a number of changes of its own since it’s inception. In 2009, the company restructured its sales organization from corporate-run distribution to MLM, removing its landmark supplement from the shelves of drug stores and putting them in the hands of independent distributors.
Around that time, successful MLM-lifers like Burke Hedges were recruited by LifeVantage to grow the brand from $10 million a year in revenue to the successful company it is today. In 2010, Hedges contract was abruptly terminated, amongst allegations by the Company of nefarious behavior. Even after accusing him of misconduct and terminating his contract, Hedges’ downline was reportedly kept in place and his likeness was allegedly used to bring new distributors into the fold.
By 2011, Hedges had filed suit. To this day, it’s reported that LFVN has not offered any solid basis for the allegations. Instead, a legal bait and switch occurred.
In 2016, a judge declared a summary judgment in favor of Hedges wrongful termination on the basis LFVN failed to prove material breach. But in an unexpected turn of events, the judge reversed that decision on evidence that a breach had occurred, not due to Hedges conduct but due to his use of a marketing system, called Opus, that was not approved by the Company. This claim is one Hedges refutes.
It was the overturned judgment that sent this case to a jury trial that will be taking place on Monday. But Hedges case isn’t the only strange termination leaving questions about LifeVantage’s dedication to distributors and their quality of life.
At the same time that they were fighting a legal battle in courts with Hedges, another lawsuit emerged regarding a distributor named Jason Domingo, who was a top grossing distributor at the time of his termination. Domingo’s case includes conspiracy and defamation, and while it was resolved in favor of the Company it leaves a lot of questions about what is going on there. Curiously, the executive management team seems to have been replaced between the time of Hedges lawsuit and that of Domingo’s. Not only that, but it appears for LFVN CEO, David Brown now runs a business with the former lead distributor Domingo.
Curious, indeed. How will this play out on Monday? Stay tuned to find out.